Fall Feast: Hypertension

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about planning your Thanksgiving feast. People who have high blood pressure may need to do some additional planning in order to enjoy the holiday.

High blood pressure raises the risk for heart attacks and strokes, and that makes willpower even more important for the one in four Americans with hypertension. Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, a hypertension specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says people with high blood pressure can enjoy a holiday meal, but they can’t let their eating habits lapse for weeks. You need to keep taking your prescribed medication and stay within your recommended daily sodium intake – usually no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. If you know you’re going to be eating a big meal on a holiday, plan to eat smaller, lighter meals the rest of the day. Avoid leftovers that spread the rich holiday food out over more days.

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November 2011

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